Coach Abubakari Damba former Black Stars goalkeeper has said that Muslim footballers who fast during the Ramadan should not be encouraged to play because it is detrimental to the players’ health and to the team’s performance.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Mr Damba said fasting could make the body very weak and for that matter during the Ramadan, they are advised not to do a lot of physical work and football is too much a work to do while your body is drained of water.
“Football is a physical activity that demands a lot of energy and also lost energy should be replenished before going onto the pitch if you want to perform optimally and also remain healthy. Therefore to play football while fasting is a very difficult thing to do. It has a serious effect on the human body” he said.
“Coaches and management must ensure that Muslim footballers are fit before allowing them to go to the pitch because they would be held responsible if anything should happen to the play while playing.
“This issue must be looked at critically to avoid unprofessionalism in football. Players who think they are strong enough and agree to fast and still play are doing it at the expense of their health.
He urged coaches to device measures that will fill the gap for players who are fasting, saying, “Coaches should put in place some arrangements to replace players who are fasting during the Ramadan just as they will do when some players are injured to save the players and team.
“I will not suggest or concur that a player who is fasting be pushed to the scorch sun and to run ninety minutes on the pitch because that will be to the detriment of the team. It’s a serious case and we have to treat it carefully and with all seriousness”, he expressed.